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Want 50 Shades sex but don't know where to start? Try our bondage for beginners guide

 

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

First off, safety. Lingerie and sex toy brand Ann Summers reveal the most important part: "Establish a safe word first; something easily remembered, something that's unlikely to be said by accident. Make sure you both know it, and understand that the session stops completely when it's said."

 

Sexpert, author and Cliterati editor Emily Dubberley couldn't agree more and emphasises that while bondage is about mixing pain and pleasure, you must ALWAYS be aware of your partner's needs. "While spanking is one of the milder forms of pain play, there are a few rules that you need to bear in mind to avoid causing any lasting damage. Communication – whether verbal or physical – is what BDSM is about. You should take note of how your partner reacts and tailor your strokes to that", she says.

 

BE PREPARED

You know that Friends episode where Chandler gets handcuffed to his lover's office chair for a WHOLE day? Well you don't want that happening to you. So even though it may seem obvious, be as prepared as possible: "If you're using handcuffs, keep two sets of handcuff keys nearby so you can release your partner quickly if need be" recommends Ann Summers.

 

BE SOBER

We've all taken a tumble on the dance floor while drunk, and while that's embarrassing enough, we just know it would be ten times worse in the bedroom. Not only that, but it could lead to accidents, say Ann Summers: "Although it's often more tempting to play sex games when you're feeling a bit tipsy, it's best not to try bondage when you're under the influence of alcohol, as you might misjudge how tightly to tie the knots." Wise words.

AVOID TURN-OFFS

A whole episode of Sex And The City was dedicated to verbal turn-offs, including baby talk. So it's important to choose words wisely, says Emily: "Before talking dirty, establish whether there are any words that either of you find a particular turn on or turn off. When you're immersed in sex, it can be all too easy to kill the mood by using a word that your partner finds ugly, offensive or both."

 

LET'S GET PHYSICAL

Once you've mastered the vocab and you're ready to heat things up, it's worth taking things slow – when you've been used to 'vanilla' sex, bondage is quite a leap. "You may decide to actually do the things that are being talked about. While this could be as simple as having rough doggy style sex, while talking dirty, you can also incorporate slightly edgier aspects into your play. These could include hair pulling, face slapping (never strike anywhere near the ear though as this can pop someone's ear drum), nibbling and sex toys", Emily says.

 

TRY: TOP TEN COUPLES SEX TOYS

When it comes to props, it doesn't have to get expensive. "Simply re-purpose something that you already have in the house", says Emily. "Ties, scarves and dressing gown cords can all be used to restrain a partner (though never use anything that you really value. There's always the risk that you'll have to cut your partner out of their bonds if the knots get too tight and you don't want to destroy your favourite tie in doing so). Though tights and stockings would seem fit for the purpose, they are less than ideal as the knots can tighten to ridiculous levels and the fabric can dig in uncomfortably."

 

OUTSIDE THE BEDROOM

Enjoying bondage? Have a little fun outside the bedroom, as, crucially for Emily, it's not all about sex: "If you decide that you'd like to play with the idea in other ways, wearing a partner's choice of outfit is a good place to start. The collar is the classic slave item of clothing, signifying that the 'slave' is 'owned' by their partner. These come in numerous varieties from pink fake fur-lined leatherette to intimidating-looking spiked metal collars."

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